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Presenting to Dr. Carolyn Cooper her portrait

At my trip to Jamaica, I had the pleasure and honour to present to Dr. Carolyn Cooper her portrait design and few months later that I visited her again she had already framed it. At the photo below with her brother, Kinsley Cooper, founder of the Peter Tosh museum in Kingston, Jamaica.


Acclaimed Greek Designer and Mobay Students link
MBJ Airport Ltd. facilitates design lecture for U.W.I. Students

On Monday May 8, 2017, The University of the West Indies, Mona-Western Jamaica Campus was host to Greek Visual Artist and Blogger Maria Papaefstathiou under the auspices of Sangster International’s MBJ Airports Ltd. The talk served as part career retrospective and part call to arms for Caribbean creatives in general, and Jamaican designers specifically, to raise the bar in quality and quantity of output.
Papaefstathiou, Co-Founder of The International Reggae Poster Contest, shared her artistic journey with CARIMAC students, offered her mentorship and unveiled plans for a exhibition of the Finalists in this years International Reggae Poster Contest on the grounds of Sangster International Airport. Centering Jamaica’s cultural influence on her art and the world, the world re-known designer and activist encouraged the participants to “look outside their worlds” and venture further into design by using the contest and similar outlets.
Speaking at the event, MBJ Airports Ltd., C.E.O Dr. Rafael Echevarne and Assistant Commercial Manager Audley Giles challenged the students to help lift the quality of merchandise offered in airport shops to offer a greater variety to visitors and shoppers. They highlighted that the event is the first public event in an ongoing engagement between MBJ Airports Inc. and U.W.I WJC seeking stronger links between the two institutions and the Western region. The Campus was represented by lecturer Tony Thompson and students taken from the Digital Media Production and Integrated Marketing and Communications Students.

Meeting with UWI, WJC students from Integrated Marketing Communications and Digital Media Production.

From left Dr. Rafael Echevarne, CEO, MBJ Airports Ltd; Tony Thompson, Lecturer UWI, WJC; Maria Papaefstathiou, Co-founder of the International Reggae Poster Contest and Audley Giles, Asst. Manager, Commercial Development

Breast Cancer Awareness poster has been invited to participate in the Women’s Rights Are Human Rights collection

“Women’s Rights Are Human Rights:
International Posters advocating an end to gender-based inequity, violence and discrimination.”

Organized and curated by Elizabeth Resnick

“Women’s Rights Are Human Rights”
 is a very fitting title for an exhibition of Women’s rights and advocacy posters, as it is a term used in the women’s rights movement and was the title of an important speech given by Hillary Rodham Clinton at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing in 1995. In her speech, Hillary Clinton suggests that “if the term ‘women’s rights’ were to be interchangeable with the term ‘human rights’ the world community would be a better place because human rights affect the women who raise the world’s children, care for the elderly, run companies, work in hospitals, right for better education and better health care.”

Yet gender inequalities remain deeply entrenched in every society. Women lack access to decent work and face occupational segregation and gender wage gaps. They are too often denied access to basic education and healthcare. Women in all parts of the world suffer violence and discrimination. They are under-represented in political and economic decision-making processes.

In many cultures, women have very little control over their own bodies, with female sexuality being largely controlled and defined by men in patriarchal societies. Sexual violence committed by men is often rooted in ideologies of male sexual entitlement, and these systems grant women very few legitimate options to refuse sexual advances. This entitlement can take different forms, depending on the culture. Human rights and women’s rights are violated every single day as the rape and brutality of women is used as an instrument of armed conflict. Women and children make up a large majority of the world’s refugees. And when women are excluded from the political process, they become even more vulnerable to abuse.

This exhibition features over 60 posters created by both men and women to celebrate and acknowledge the vital role that all citizens should play in protecting and promoting human rights while challenging gender inequality and stereotypes, advancing sexual and reproductive rights, protecting women and girls against brutality, and promoting women’s empowerment and participation in society. These poster images challenge religious and cultural norms and patriarchal attitudes that subordinate, stigmatize or restrict women from achieving their fullest potential; these images argue for the elimination of discrimination against women and girls, empowerment of women, and achievement of equality between women and men that fosters societal stability and human dignity.

The exhibition will have its official premiere in the President’s Gallery at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts, September 26 – October 29, 2016. A smaller selection of the posters will be on display at the Bienal Internacional Del Cartel En México, being held in San Luis Potosi, September-October 2016. A special advance showing of this exhibition was held at the National Taiwan Normal University in Taipei, Taiwan in May 2016.

This exhibition has travelled internationally.


Giving a speech at the Luncheon and Discussion with the Honourable Andrew Holness, M.P. Prime Minister of Jamaica

I had the honour to share the Int. Reggae Poster Contest vision with Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness at the “Luncheon and Discussion with the Honourable Andrew Holness, M.P. Prime Minister of Jamaica” organized by the Jamaican-American Chamber of Commerce.


Posing next to my poster on Alpha Boys’ School of Kingston, Jamaica. On the left, Maria Hudson, wife of the late Michael Thompson.

Design portraits as awards for the 2nd Palaver International Literary Festival in Wasaga Beach, Ontario, Canada

Palaver International Literary Festival honours lifetime achievements of Hon. Louise Bennett-Coverley, Carlos Malcolm and Dr. Rita Cox and acknowledges the role of cultural development being played by Dwayne Morgan. The recipients received commissioned art of Maria Papaefstathiou, presented by Dr. Pamela Appelt on Saturday August 6.

Below are images of the 4 portraits (Louise Bennett, poet Dwayne Morgan, Storyteller Rita Cox and composer, arranger & orchestra leader Carlos Malcolm) and the award ceremony.

Bike Forces – Bikeart.gr Exhibition 2016

Bike Forces is my poster specially designed for the BIKEART.GR EXHIBITION.
I love bicycling since I was a kid. The freedom I feel whenever I ride my bike cannot be compared to anything in the world. This freedom I decided to express it through the art form of Futurism. Bright Colors and shapes that reveal the forces of the bike, were given also through the eye of Dynamics. (Bicycle Dynamics is the science of the motion of bicycles (and motorcycles) and their components, due to the forces acting on them. Dynamics is a branch of classical mechanics, which in turn is a branch of physics. Bike motions of interest include balancing, steering, braking, accelerating, suspension activation, and vibration. The study of these motions began in the late 19th century and continues today. wikipedia info)

The BIKEART.GR EXHIBITION is being organized by URBANACT and BIKEART.gr team.
Exhibition Includes: Posters from over 60 Greek and foreign artists
Vintage bike exhibition / creative innovative bike and products exhibition / seminars – school visits / competition and lotteries / bike films.
The proceeds from the sale of poster works will support the making of Grafity on the walls of the Nursing Home in Volos.

Interview in “Artistic License”

Maria Papaefstathiou talking art, infringement and copyright.


Q: Tell us a little about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

A: I am Maria Papaefstathiou, a graphic designer based in Athens, Greece. I studied graphic design in the early ’90s at the Faculty of Fine Arts and Design of the Technological Educational Institute of Athens.

Only five years ago, I started exploring poster art depicting facets of global issues that I feel passionate about: global poverty, autism, rape, freedom of speech, cancer etc. I also design posters celebrating Greek music and the theatre heritage of Greece. That’s an ongoing project. And I also design posters about reggae music.

My love for the arts led me in 2010 to create a blog, Graphic Art News (graphicart-news.com), as a place to share any interesting artwork, design, or fine art photography worldwide that inspires me and which I think would appeal to other designers. These are projects that I find online. Many times, the artists ask me to feature them.

I am also the co-founder of the International Reggae Poster Contest (reggaepostercontest.com). This is an initiative of Michael Thompson who envisioned this contest as a platform for a catalyst idea – a Reggae Hall of Fame Museum erected in Kingston, Jamaica. This Contest also helps raise awareness for Alpha Boys’ School, which has played a key role in the development of ska and reggae music.

Q: When did you decide you wanted to be an artist? And has the internet become a good or bad aspect to life as an artist?

A: Basically, I work on a computer, using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Sometimes, I sketch my ideas. Other times, I think of them as I’m going along. My works are influenced by cubism and futurism. I am very passionate about these art forms and I keep exploring ways to incorporate these elements in my own work.

Q: What do you dislike about the world of art?

A: I’ve loved to draw ever since I was a child. I remember drawing on rocks and then covering them with transparent nail polish to preserve my work. I am happy to still have one of those drawings. The nail polish did a great job!

When I discovered that there was a profession named “graphic design,” I decided that this was what I wanted to do for my career. So here I am today…

The Internet has played a big role for me.It allows me to escape my daily routine of working for someone else. I’ve been able to start doing things for myself as well: my poster art, the blog, the reggae contest etc.

The Internet is also my main tool to feed Graphic Art News. And it inspires me since everything is so easily available, with only few clicks… For example, I can study cubism, and find cubist artists from the past and also current practitioners.

Q: What is the toughest thing about being an artist?

A: I like artists who express themselves honestly, whether the world likes it or not. So, even if I see things I dislike, that’s just my totally subjective response. But, I hate arrogant artists…

Another thing that irritates me very much is how easily our work can be copied. The Internet is a big tool for us but it can also become an even bigger enemy.

Q: What’s your message to the World?

A: Fall in Love with Art!

Love it with all your heart.

Explore art! Then, make it your own.

And never, ever, give up trying…

Never count the hours you are giving to it. It will pay you back one day, in abundance!


Q: What was your first case of a piece of art being infringed upon?

A: My first case was one of Michael Thompson’s artwork, actually. Not mine. We saw it happening twice. Someone was printing a couple of his designs on t-shirts and selling them online.

He took them down immediately when we took legal action. Another infringement was someone else selling a t-shirt on a crowdfunding website. It came down the moment I sent proof that the art was Michael’s.

Q: How did you feel about someone stealing your artwork and making money from your hard work?

A: Angry…Irritated… But staying calm and patient is the best way to deal with it. I think about it and try to come up with a good strategy. I usually send a note informing them of the infringement and asking them to stop. If they don’t cooperate, I consider how much of my time pursuing then is going to consume. Is it really worth it? Or will I spend more money than what I’ll lose from illegal sales of my artwork? So it’s constant ambivalence about the right response…

Q: Do you feel it’s a necessary part of the market, to allow for free advertising?

A: I wouldn’t say necessary. But I believe the Internet is the tool of our century with the constant threat of infringing, unfortunately. e worst thing is the immorality of it all. It is not a question of IF someone is making money out of it or not. e artworks from the International Reggae Poster Contest have been stolen and used everywhere. They’ve been sold as posters and also used to promote reggae events. It frustrates me! And it frustrates the designers as well. But what can one do really? And how many infringers can you spend time chasing? Personally, I send messages to them, letting them know that we know. And we hope they will behave themselves. And most of them do. Because most of them don’t even realise what they are doing! They think since it’s on the Internet, it’s for public use.

Q: What would you say to the infringers if you had the chance?

A: What I am telling them already. To stop doing it! To honour the artist and take down the stolen work from their website. What I would like to see, though, is much more public education about intellectual property. For instance, how do we know we can’t smoke in a specific area? Someone told us not to. On radio and television, in newspapers and with signs in public….There has to be a way to educate the world about not stealing intellectual property. Public education is the right tool.

Q: How do you think this situation could be resolved?

A: One is what I’ve just said: public education. Then, artists can start a whole campaign. “Stop stealing”! Right? You have already designed a poster to protect your designs! Michael Thompson has made a whole series.

Why not other artists? Why not start building a platform with works about infringement and other legal issues? The messages should be clear and straightforward so everyone can understand why it’s a crime to steal other people’s works. There should be documents on the platform ready to be downloaded for every victim to use to save their artworks. Besides, how many of us can a afford the lawyers? A collective platform is a great start…


Q: What is your view on copyright?

A: I agree with it. Artworks, designs, music, patents, lyrics…Everything must be copyrighted. For our own protection! It’s our seal, I believe.

Q: Have you ever innocently, or without knowledge of copyrighted laws used other’s material for your own work?

A: No. I mostly derive images that I want to use from stock photo galleries. But I have been asked to use other people’s work, photographs, actually, in my projects and, of course, I decline. I mean, if I’ll do it, then what worth do my own words have?

Q: How do you protect your own work against copyright theft?

A: I am not protecting my work as efficiently as I would like to. e best way is to have a lawyer copyright every single piece. But that’s not an easy thing to do… Not for me at least. So I am using only Creative Commons.

Q: Do you think companies on the web do enough to protect artist’s work?

A: No…I don’t think they do. But, again, I don’t know what more they can do than to state that all artworks are copyrighted by the artists. I am against the use of watermark over the artwork. It detracts from the beauty of the art, I believe.

Q: What do you think about Creative Commons and Public Domain?

A: I think they are trying to do a good job. But I have been a victim there too. Not personally, again, but one of our poster contributions was submitted to the Creative Commons by an imposter! Not by the artist himself! And I am 100% sure of who the owner of the artwork is…If I remember well, I wrote to Creative Commons about it, but I got no response. is I find really disturbing. All the same, it’s good to have the Creative Commons copyright symbols on your website. It’s like a ‘beware of the dog’ sign outside your yard.

Q: What do you think of artists that abuse this feature?

A: Well, let’s simply say they are NOT artists.


Interview with Artistic Licence

The right to decide | University of Alabama at Birmingham

I was invited by ‘Posters without Borders’ to participate to the “Right to Decide” exhibition.
62 artists from 25 countries, including some of the most respected poster artists in the world, created new posters on the subject of voting rights and fair elections specifically for this exhibition. The exhibition also includes student posters from university design programs in Russia, Finland, Colombia, Taiwan as well as 5 universities in the United States.
The exhibition was held at AEIVA Gallery.
You can see all of the posters online at http://cargocollective.com/therighttodecide
and on the Posters Without Borders website http://posterswithoutborders.com
‘Posters without Borders’ is an invitational poster exhibition organized by Eric Boelts, Antonio Castro, and Erin Wright showing work by artists from all over the world exploring the topic of immigration.

Pay homage to the Venezuelan artist Juan Carlos Darias

I was invited by the “Darias Design Institute” to participate in the exhibition: Transcend, Tribute to Juan Carlos Darias, hosted at the Carlos Cruz-Diez Design Museum in August 2015.
The cause and theme of the exhibition were to pay homage the wonderful Venezuelan artist Juan Carlos Darias who left this world on January 18, 2015. Juan was one of the best poster designers in Venezuela. Juan Carlos Darias used the platform of the poster to help his country and the world to be a better place. I will miss him dearly.


Breast Cancer Awareness | Greece

I had the honour this year to be invited by the Toolkit Startup 2 to participate in their poster exhibition “W|Design for life” that took place in Thessaloniki, Greece.
I wanted to express such a serious matter through a colourful design, of a beautiful woman because I wanted to give a positive message. A woman’s beauty does not stop to exist if affected… Beauty comes from within, and if we keep our spirit high and positive, colourful and bright, our life can still be wonderful…

… but also… ladies… Do not forget the value of the early detection. Check yourself regularly, Educate yourself and others about it…

The poster has been exhibited by the Toolkit Startup 2 in Thessaloniki.


Freedom of Expression | Greece

I was invited by the Toolkit Startup 2 to participate in their poster exhibition “ε/Design your Expression”.
The concept of my poster is “be Free BUT with Responsibility”. As Chesterton once said, “To have a right opinion to do a thing is not the same as to be right in doing it”.

6th Behance Portfolio

I had the pleasure to speak about myself and my work at the 6th Behance Portfolio. My speech was about Passion! Passion in art and design because this is what drives us to be more creative and eventually succeed. Because this is what unites us, the artists all over the world. Because this is how we, the designers and artists, can spread an awareness and eventually create a better world. Because art can bring together good people with the same good vision. And of course, because without passion we can’t learn, we can’t improve our skills, we can’t do great things!

Join my passion!

Let’s make ART!

BPR Presentation Link: http://www.slideshare.net/MariaPapaefstathiou/maria-pap-6o-behance-41319357